Tribute to our Volunteers Dinner

Tribute to our Volunteers Dinner

We at Utah Global Diplomacy give our sincere gratitude to you for your significant contributions to building global connections that promote mutual respect, understanding, and international goodwill. Therefore, we cordially invite you and a guest to join us:

Tuesday, September 12, 2023
5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. 
Publik Coffee Roasters Downtown Event Center
975 South West Temple, Salt Lake City

Featuring special guest speaker Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann, President of the American Academy of Diplomacy and formerly a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador to Algeria, Bahrain, and Afghanistan.

Additionally, for their outstanding contribution to our mission, we will give a special tribute to five extraordinary people:

  • Franz Kolb, Director of International Trade & Diplomacy, Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and U.S. Department of States Honorary Consular to Austria
  • DeAnna & Lynn DeBry, Dinner Hosts Volunteers
  • Chris & Erlynn Lansing, Directors of the Church Hosting Office, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

If you have any questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About the Keynote

America's Diplomacy Falls Behind: How to Fix It 

Embark on a transformative journey into international relations with Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann. Explore where diplomacy currently exists in safeguarding Americans abroad, strengthening national security, and fueling American trade, and how we can fix some of the recent setbacks America has experienced on the worldwide stage.

Unveil Diplomacy's Power: Join us to explore how robust diplomacy drives U.S. interests worldwide. Gain insights into shaping our nation's destiny on the global stage.

Boosting America's Influence: Learn visionary recommendations to empower our diplomats as key agents of change. Elevate America's voice in an interconnected world.

Your Impact Counts: Your presence fuels America's global future. Engage, converse, and become part of a community dedicated to U.S. success.

Meet Ambassador Neumann: Learn from Ambassador Ronald Neumann's seasoned diplomatic experience. 

About Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann

Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann Utah Global DiplomacyRonald E. Neumann, President, American Academy of Diplomacy

Formerly a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Ronald E. Neumann served three times as Ambassador; to Algeria, Bahrain, and finally to Afghanistan from July 2005 to April 2007. Before Afghanistan, Mr. Neumann, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, served in Baghdad from February 2004 with the Coalition Provisional Authority and then as Embassy Baghdad’s liaison with the Multinational Command, where he was deeply involved in coordinating the political part of military actions.

Prior to working in Iraq, he was Ambassador in Manama, Bahrain (2001-2004), Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near East Affairs (1997-2000) with responsibility for North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and Ambassador to Algeria (1994 to 1997). He was Director of the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs (Iran and Iraq; 1991 to 1994). Earlier in his career, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and in Sanaa in Yemen, Principal Officer in Tabriz, Iran, and Economic/Commercial Officer in Dakar, Senegal. His previous Washington assignments include service as Jordan Desk officer, Staff Assistant in the Middle East (NEA) Bureau, and Political Officer in the Office of Southern European Affairs.

Ambassador Neumann is the author of a memoir, Three Embassies, Four Wars: a personal memoir (2017) and The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan (Potomac Press, 2009), a book on his time in Afghanistan. He has returned to Afghanistan repeatedly and is the author of a number of monographs, articles, and editorials. His writings have focused most heavily on Afghanistan, stabilization, and Bahrain. At the Academy, he has focused particularly on efforts to maintain adequate State and USAID budgets and staffing and upgrade professional formation to enable these institutions to carry out their responsibilities. Ambassador Neumann is on the Advisory Board of a non-profit girls’ school in Afghanistan, the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA), and the Advisory Board of Spirit of America. He is on the board of the Middle East Policy Council and the Advisory Council of the World Affairs Councils of America.

Ambassador Neumann speaks some Arabic and Dari as well as French. He received State Department Superior Honor Awards in 1993 and 1990. He was an Army infantry officer in Viet Nam and holds a Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal and Combat Infantry Badge. In Baghdad, he was awarded the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. He earned a B.A. in history and an M.A. in political science from the University of California at Riverside and is a graduate of the National War College. He is married to the former M. Elaine Grimm. They have two children.

Citizen Diplomat Award Recognition: Franz Kolb

Franz Kolb Utah Global DiplomacyA Champion of International Trade and Diplomacy

Franz Kolb is a distinguished figure of international trade and diplomacy in Utah, known for his exceptional contributions to fostering global cooperation and economic opportunities. With a career spanning decades, Kolb has consistently demonstrated his commitment to strengthening ties between nations, promoting economic growth, and enhancing diplomatic relations.

Franz currently works as the Director of International Trade & Diplomacy at the Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity. In this pivotal role, he displayed an unwavering dedication to expanding international trade initiatives, facilitating partnerships between businesses, and advocating for policies that promote economic development on a global scale. His strategic vision and leadership have played a pivotal role in nurturing economic prosperity within his region and beyond.

Furthermore, Franz's exceptional diplomatic acumen led to his appointment as the U.S. Department of State's Honorary Consular to Austria in Utah. In this capacity, he has tirelessly worked to strengthen the bilateral ties between the United States and Austria. His diplomatic efforts have not only deepened cultural understanding but have also facilitated numerous exchanges in the realms of commerce, education, and diplomacy.

Franz's accomplishments extend beyond his official roles. He is recognized as a passionate advocate for citizen diplomacy, understanding the power of people-to-people connections in bridging cultural gaps and fostering mutual understanding. Through his initiatives and engagements, he has consistently emphasized the importance of cross-cultural collaboration, creating a positive impact on both local and international communities.

His dedication to promoting economic opportunities, enhancing diplomatic relationships, and championing citizen diplomacy has earned Franz widespread respect and admiration. As he receives the Citizen Diplomat Award, it is a testament to his outstanding contributions and a recognition of his tireless efforts in building bridges, fostering understanding, and promoting international cooperation.

Franz Kolb's legacy as a Director of International Trade & Diplomacy and Honorary Consular will undoubtedly continue to inspire and shape the future of diplomatic and economic relations for years to come.

Citizen Diplomat Award Recognition: Erlynn & Chris Lansing

Lansings Utah Global DiplomacyExemplary Leaders of Cross-Cultural Understanding through Church Hosting

Chris and Erlynn Lansing have distinguished themselves as exceptional leaders in fostering cross-cultural understanding and promoting international goodwill through their roles as Directors of the Church Hosting Office at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their dedication to creating meaningful connections among diverse communities and promoting open dialogue has left an indelible mark on the world of citizen diplomacy.

With an unwavering commitment to building bridges of understanding, Chris and Erlynn have been instrumental in coordinating and facilitating cultural exchange programs that have transcended religious and cultural boundaries. Through their visionary leadership, they have carried on the strong tradition of the Church Hosting Office being a platform for bringing people from different corners of the globe together, allowing them to share their unique perspectives, values, and traditions.

Under their guidance, the Church Hosting Office has organized numerous events that encourage dialogue, collaboration, and mutual respect. These events have provided an opportunity for individuals from various backgrounds to engage in meaningful conversations, learn from one another, and strengthen the bonds of friendship. Chris and Erlynn's leadership has made a significant impact on fostering an environment of inclusivity and acceptance within their community and beyond.

Beyond their official roles, Chris and Erlynn have consistently demonstrated their commitment to citizen diplomacy through their personal interactions and engagement with diverse individuals. Their warm and approachable demeanor, combined with their genuine interest in learning about different cultures, has endeared them to people from all walks of life. Their efforts have not only promoted understanding but have also inspired others to embrace the principles of citizen diplomacy in their own lives.

The Citizen Diplomat Award bestowed upon Chris and Erlynn Lansing is a recognition of their outstanding contributions to promoting cultural exchange, fostering dialogue, and cultivating global friendships. Their leadership in the Church Hosting Office has not only facilitated enriching interactions but has also paved the way for a more interconnected and harmonious world.

Chris and Erlynn's legacy as Directors of the Church Hosting Office will continue to inspire individuals to engage in meaningful cross-cultural exchanges, break down barriers, and build bridges of understanding. Their dedication to citizen diplomacy serves as a shining example of how individuals can make a positive impact on the world by fostering connections that transcend borders and differences.

Citizen Diplomat Award Recognition: DeAnna & Lynn DeBry

DeBrys Utah Global Diplomacy

Dedicated Advocates of Volunteerism and Community Enrichment

DeAnna and Lynn DeBry are esteemed individuals who have made significant contributions to their community through their selfless dedication to volunteerism, education, and community enrichment. Their unwavering commitment to fostering positive change and creating meaningful connections has left an indelible mark on the lives of many.

Lynn DeBry, a retired partner of KPMG LLP, has a remarkable professional history that spans various international locations. Having worked in the New York, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Salt Lake offices, Lynn's career exemplifies a global perspective. His expertise in finance and business leadership has been instrumental in his service on the boards of notable organizations such as First USA Financial Services, Inc., Utah Technologies Association, Wayne Brown Institute, and Utah Boys' Ranch. With a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Utah, Lynn's achievements extend beyond his professional endeavors and into his passion for community service.

DeAnna DeBry, a graduate with a double major in English and German from the University of Utah, has dedicated over three decades to volunteer teaching within her community. Alongside her husband Lynn, she has raised five children and has continued to impart her passion for education and cultural understanding through her volunteer efforts. The DeBrys' global perspective was enhanced during their three-year residence in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 2002 to 2005, where they expanded their horizons and cultural connections.

Upon returning to Salt Lake City, DeAnna resumed her volunteer music teaching and furthered her impact through her service at the Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center for almost two years. Her nurturing spirit and dedication to making a positive difference have touched countless lives, showcasing her unwavering commitment to community service.

Together, DeAnna and Lynn DeBry epitomize the values of volunteerism, cross-cultural understanding, and community enrichment. Their joint efforts have created bridges of connection, both within their local community and across international borders. The Citizen Diplomat Award bestowed upon DeAnna and Lynn DeBry is a testament to their remarkable contributions, inspiring others to recognize the profound impact that volunteerism and compassionate service can have on the world.

Their legacy as dedicated advocates of volunteerism and community enrichment will continue to resonate, encouraging individuals to contribute their time and talents for the betterment of society.


Thank You to our Sponsors & Partners

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Event Information

Event Date Sep 12, 2023 5:00 pm
Event End Date Sep 12, 2023 7:00 pm
Capacity 50
Individual Price A Free Event - Invitation Only
Location Publik Coffee Roasters Downtown Event Center
Categories Signature Events

We are no longer accepting registration for this event